Examining Intransa's New Enterprise, Energy and Availability Management Features

By John Honovich, Published Oct 17, 2010, 08:00pm EDT

Intransa has released a series of new enterprise, energy and availability management features [link no longer available], respectively named VSA System Center, VSA Energy Manager and VSA Tiered Availability. All of these features are available as a software upgrade at no charge to Intransa's server and storage.

This update overview each of the three features with commentary on use/application:

  • VSA System Center provides a centralized management interface to view and monitor multiple Intransa servers/storage devices. Specifically, it allows administrators to manage storage capacity across numerous devices.
  • VSA Energy Manager provides an option to decrease energy cost. Specifically, this release allows for a 'cold storage' or deep archive mode where selected drives are spun down to a near sleep mode. Intransa claims that this can reduce energy consumption by about 40%. A downside is that requested video would take longer to access. Intransa claims an average of about 10 seconds. As such, this is likely best suited for video that operators are unlikely to access frequently (most commonly video older than a day or few days). Contrast this to Veracity's COLDSTORE storage solution [link no longer available]. While Veracity is claiming more benefits (greater energy savings, lower appliance costs, etc.), Veracity requires a proprietary interface to VMS systems. We see this area as an interesting and important development for surveillance. However, as we have not tested any cold storage solution, we cannot make recommendations on products or detailed tradeoffs.
  • VSA Tiered Availability provides multiple options for fault tolerance. A new option offered ensures that video is always recorded without being available for playback. This is a lower cost option than 'full' availability. It requires using their Maximum Flexibility line [link no longer available] (i.e., their external storage appliances). Some cameras can be assigned to this 'limited' resilient level while others can be assigned to 'full' availability (achieving different levels or tiers of availability).

We think these features have the potential to be important differentiators for mid to large scale video surveillance systems. Secondly, this release is an important contrast to Intransa's most direct competitor Pivot3 whose Fall release focused on expansion into a new market (hosted solutions) rather than expanded functionality for traditional/mainstream surveillance applications.

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